How to Improve Your English Pronunciation, Travel Vocabulary, and Using New Words in Conversation (AJ #7)

Ask Jack Episode 7

(Note: If you want to reach a high level of English, click here.)

In episode seven of Ask Jack, I go deep into how you can improve your pronunciation, the difference between trip, travel, tour, and journey, and then talk about how to use new words in conversation.

At the end, I have a fun question for you to answer.

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Transcript

Hello, this is Jack from tofluency.com here with episode 7 of Ask Jack – the free series where I answer your questions about learning English and the English language. If you have a question about learning English then

If you have a question about learning English then please click the link here it will take you to a form and you keep ask me anything and I’ll do my best to answer it in this series. So, let’s have a look at the first question from today. Pari from India asks:

Pari from India asks: what’s the best way to improve my pronunciation? Thank you for this great question, Pari.

So, improving your pronunciation is going to help you express yourself more freely in English and in addition, it’s going to help your comprehension too, so, it’s an important part of English and it’s something that I feel learners should spend more time on. And I’m gonna share a couple of tips today that’s going to help you improve your pronunciation. And the first tip is to learn the different English sounds and to know how to say them. So, there are many different sounds in English: there are around 24 different vowel sounds in English, and a lot of learners don’t have these same vowels sounds in their own native language and, therefore, they can say them; they don’t know how to produce these sounds; they don’t know what to do with their mouth. So, the first stage is to learn how to how to say the different sounds in English because it’s going to make you sound much better

So, the first stage is to learn how to how to say the different sounds in English because it’s going to make you sound much better and it could also help you with your speaking because if you can say these different sounds, then you’ll be able to just use your mouth in a more natural way and your English will flow; its gonna flow a lot better. So, learn how to say the different sounds; know what to do with your tongue; with your mouth; with your lips, and I’ve got a great resource for, I’m going to include that it the show notes – it’s gonna help you to be able to do this… and work on… and to to work out exactly what you need to do with your mouth for the different English sounds. The second tip

The second tip is to imitate speakers, so to imitate audio that you’ve found online; audio that you find anywhere really and just copy what people are saying and to take this a step further, what you can do is you can record your version and then compare it to the original, so you can listen to, for example, you can listen to a sentence from Friends – let’s just say Ross from Friends – listen to a sentence he says repeat it, record it, and then compare it to the original and this will help you especially when it comes to the connected speech; to the rhythm and the intonation the stress, and everything else that you need to do to be able to, erm, improve your pronunciation.
So, those the two things that you can do to help your potentiation and I recommend that you spend time working on this cuz’ it’s going to help your overall English and it’s going to definitely improve your English speaking skills.

Hunji from South Korea what’s the difference between travel, trip tour and journey?

Thank you for your question. Now, these different words can be confusing because they’re used in different ways
and, obviously, they’re quite similar or they might seem quite similar: we can use some of them as adjectives, verbs, and nouns, and also there are many collocations with them. But instead of going into all the different examples and and giving you like complete overview what I want to do is to talk about my holiday talk about our vacation.

So, we’re going to go to to Europe in two weeks – as of this recording – and I can say, for example, I’m really looking forward to my holiday but I’m not looking forward to the journey. So, the first one here is “journey” and the journey just means the act of going somewhere or coming back – so it means going on the plane the time it takes and I’m not looking forward to the journey because it’s going to be very stressful especially with my son.

So, we’re going to, obviously, go to the airport change planes, get our luggage, get the train all those different things – so it’s going to be a long journey. Now, another… when we get back from our holida,y people are going to ask us:

How was your trip? How was your trip? So, the trip is is like the overall situation and a lot of times it’s used for short holidays like a business trip or a road trip or a school trip. So, they’re really short periods of travel where people are going away for a specific purpose.

In our example, we’re going away for pleasure, erm, now another one is travel and this is used a lot as a verb, so I can say, for example, I like traveling; I went travelling in 2007; so in 2007, I went travelling for nine months. I can also say I traveled around South America because I went to different places in South America. Now, a tour is mainly used for when you’re going to lots of different places at one time for example, a tour bus will take you around different places in London and you can take a tour of London where you’ll go to to the most famous landmarks and museums all in maybe on to two days… tours can also be used for bands, as well, on a band
tour, so the the band will go to different cities and it’s known as a tour. So…. as I say, (there are) many different ways you can use them, but hopefully, you know, that example has given you a better overview; an introduction to these four different words.

Again, as with everything, try to learn them in context so don’t try to memorize all the rules because you won’t be able to use them, instead when you see these words being used just notice how they are used and try think about the the meaning – and I’m going to leave more examples in the show notes too, so be sure to check that out.
Haniya from Sri Lanka asks: when I learn a new word sometimes I can’t use it when talking. What should I do? Thank you for your question Haniya.

Thank you for your question Haniya. So, this is a a really good question because it really helps us think about what happens when we’re speaking and why it’s difficult to use new words in conversation and the reason why it is difficult is because when we’re speaking, there are so many things going on we’re interacting with someone; we’re in a noisy environment sometimes; we have to think about our pronunciation; we need to think about sentence structure and grammar; also, we need to think about if our words are appropriate for the situation and we’re listening to the person we’re speaking to… so, so many things are going on and it is difficult to introduce new words you have just learned into conversation.
Now, this is why, or one of the reasons why, I always say learn phrases not words; learn English in context because when you have a sentence or phrase that you can say and you know that it’s correct in the context, then
you don’t hesitate and you’re not trying to be too analytical and think about all the different things are going on – it just comes out naturally. So, when you’re learning a new word or phrase learn it in context, so that you know when you can use it and then learn it in the context of a phrase or sentence so, you know how to use. So this is why I always say context is so important when learning new words and phrases.

But, once to do that, what I recommend you do is after learning a new word or phrase use it as soon as possible, especially with someone who can correct you because if you’re learning a new word or phrase and you’re using it incorrectly, then that’s worse than not knowing the word or phrase so getting that feedback from somebody, from a teacher or anyone – a friend – it’s going to help you know what you’re saying is correct and then when you know this: when you know how to use it and you know it’s correct when you say it, then it will give you the confidence
to use it again. And when you when you use it you’ll be able to remember it better. So, there’s a lot…. this answer… there’s a lot going on in this answer but what I want to say is: it’s really important to learn the right words and phrases and to know when to use them and when you use them – you’re going to gain the confidence
to use them in different situations and without thinking, in the future. So I hope that helps

So I hope that helpsI’. m gonna leave more information again in the show notes.

Now, my question for this episode is this: if you could travel to any country in the world where would you go? So, leave your answers below this video, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time!

Q1: How can I improve my pronunciation?

Improving your pronunciation is going to make a big difference to your English. Therefore, it’s wise to make this part of your English studying plan. The first thing you should do is learn how to say the different sounds in English; this will help you greatly. Here is the resource that I mentioned in the video.

Additionally, mimicking native speakers and copying their rhythm, intonation, and stress will help you to sound more like a native speaker.

Being able to use new words and vocabulary when you’re speaking is difficult. Firstly, make sure you learn these new words in context to know how and when to use them. From there, try to use them as soon as possible, preferably with someone who can correct you.

Q2: What’s the difference between journey, trip, travel, and tour?

The difference between travel, trip, journey, and tour can be confusing. For example, travel can be used as a noun, verb, and adjective (a travel bag).

Travel is most commonly used as a verb: I love travelling. I travelled around South America in 2007. Journey is the process of going to or from place: I’m not looking forward to the journey. Trip is used for the overall situation: how was your trip? And it is also used as follows: a business trip, a school trip, a weekend trip. Tour is when you go to a few places in an organized way: a tour of London.

Q3: How can I use new words that I learn in conversation?

Being able to use new words and vocabulary when you’re speaking is difficult. Firstly, make sure you learn these new words in context to know how and when to use them. This is a really important part of learning English.

From there, try to use them as soon as possible, preferably with someone who can correct you. If you use it properly, you’ll remember how to use it again in the future.

What to Do Now:

1. Answer the question below: If you could travel to any country in the world, where would you go?
2.
 If you haven’t done so already, download your FREE Guide, and sign up to receive English learning advice from me. Get reading!
3. Click here to ask me a question about learning English.

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  • Ildar

    I would definitely go to The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland! ^___^

    • Great! Do you have any plans to do so?